Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley

August 13, 2022

“Jailhouse Rock” was released in 1957 by rock and roll legend, Elvis Presley. The song was a hit in the US and reached the top of the charts for several weeks in a row. It also reached top 10 status in several other countries.

“Jailhouse Rock”  was a song written for a movie of the same name. Jailhouse Rock is a musical drama film that starred Elvis Presley, Mickey Shaughnessy, Judy Tyler, Vaughn Taylor, and Jennifer Holden. Jailhouse Rock premiered in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee.

In the movie, Elvis plays a convict who is “rocking” the jail, musically speaking. He performs “Jailhouse Rock” within the prison to the other cellmates’ amusement.

When Stoller and Leiber wrote the script, the film was originally titled “Ghost of a Chance.” The duo visualized the scene where inmates put on a show in captivity. After recording the song, however, they all agreed to rename the film Jailhouse Rock because they knew the song would be a hit. 

Adapted from a story by Nedrick Young, the film, released on November 8th, 1957, is a story of Vince Everett (Presley), the convict. He learns to play the guitar in captivity and gains stardom following his release. The movie has some good tunes, usually in an Elvis film, and the choreography is excellent.

Lyrics

The warden threw a party in the county jail

The prison band was there, and they began to wail

The band was jumpin’, and the joint began to swing

You should’ve heard them knocked out jailbirds sing

Let’s rock

Everybody, let’s rock

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone

Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone

The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang

The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang

Let’s rock

Everybody, let’s rock

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Number forty-seven said to number three

“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see”

“I sure would be delighted with your company”

“Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me”

Let’s rock

Everybody, let’s rock

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Sad Sack was sittin’ on a block of stone

Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone

The warden said, “Hey, buddy, don’t you be no square

“If you can’t find a partner use a wooden chair”

Let’s rock

Everybody, let’s rock

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Shifty Henry said to Bugs

“For Heaven’s sake”

“No one’s lookin’, now’s our chance to make a break”

Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, “Nix nix”

“I wanna stick around awhile and get my kicks”

Let’s rock

Everybody, let’s rock

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

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